US Wins Court Seizure Of N. Korean Ship For Alleged Sanctions Violations - Justice Dept.

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US Wins Court Seizure of N. Korean Ship for Alleged Sanctions Violations - Justice Dept.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 22nd October, 2019) The United States has won a court decision finalizing the seizure of a North Korean cargo vessel for allegedly shipping coal and heavy equipment in violation of sanctions, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

"The Department of Justice today announced the entry of a judgment of forfeiture regarding the M/V Wise Honest... a 17,061-ton, single-hull bulk carrier ship registered in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the release said on Monday. "The Wise Honest, one of North Korea's largest bulk carriers, was used to illicitly ship coal from North Korea and to deliver heavy machinery back to the DPRK. Payments for maintenance, equipment and improvements of the Wise Honest were made in US Dollars through unwitting US banks. This conduct violates longstanding US law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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In May, the Justice Department said the United States seized the Wise Honest for allegedly engaging in illicit coal shipments in violation of US and UN sanctions.

Shortly after the incident, a North Korean diplomat in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the US seizure an unlawful act and accused Washington of not caring about international law.

Since 2018, North Korea has been engaged in denuclearization talks with the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump expressed their commitment for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during talks in Singapore last June. However recent negotiations between the two leaders in Vietnam collapsed due to disagreements over the timing of sanctions relief.

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